General Conference Book Club Week 7: Elder Zeballos

This week we’ll spend a little time “Attempting the Impossible” and hopefully realizing that we truly have access to blessings we sometimes might feel are out of our reach.  This talk was given by Elder Jorge F. Zeballos during the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference.  I think it kind of slipped under the radar for me when I watched conference, but it caught my eye today as I was flipping through the Ensign.

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“From a purely human point of view, at first [the commandment to become perfect] seems to be an impossible task. However, it begins to appear possible upon understanding that in order to achieve it, we are not alone. The most marvelous and powerful helps for which a human being may seek are always available.”

“Eternal life is to live with our Father and with our families forevermore. Should not this promise be the greatest incentive to do the best within our reach?”

I’ve been learning a lot of lessons lately about how a “purely human point of view” just doesn’t cut it as far as seeing things how they really are.  Learning to see our circumstances, the course of our lives, and even ourselves the way the Lord sees them all is quite liberating.  I’m curious to hear what you find in this talk that helps you see the impossible through different eyes.

You can read the talk here, or watch it here, or listen to it here.  It is also on page 33 of the conference edition of the Ensign.  If you’re dropping by the GCBC for the first time, you can learn how it works here.

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15 thoughts on “General Conference Book Club Week 7: Elder Zeballos

  1. I read this just this morning as part of my scripture study. I enjoyed his remark that we have the ability to reach perfection when we realize we are not alone in the process.

  2. Great talk! Reading this talk a particular friend came to mind. She has been feeling stressed because of some health issues and feels overwhelmed at “all” she feels she “needs” to do. I love how Elder Zeballos teaches from King Benjamin in Mosiah 4:27 that “it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength,” but that “it is expedient that he should be diligent, that there by he might win the prize.” How many of us feel as my friend does, that there is just not enough time to accomplish “all” that is required should do? I know I do.
    Here are some of the quotes that stood out to me.
    –“Rich rewards come only to the strenuous strugglers.”
    –“The Lord does not expect that we do what we cannot achieve.”
    –“He knows us; He knows of our capacities and our limitations.”
    I love that we have to work hard everyday to become more like our Heavenly Father. He know us and our limitations with the best part being that He doesn’t expect us to be perfect but He does expect us to be diligent and do our best. Because the promise He has given to us, as we do “all” that is within our reach is “that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” and that we can “achieve the impossible.”

  3. This talk left me pondering over how I can find balance in all the things that I feel like I need to be doing–how to not just get things done but to trying “to be a little bit better every day”, like E. Zeballos said. The one thing that keeps me from feeling totally overwhelmed is knowing who is there to help me in all of this–the one who can make the impossible possible.

  4. I liked Elder Zeballos’ statement: “God will not require more than the best we can give because that would not be just, but neither can He accept less than that because that would not be just either…. Let us do the best we can and each day be a little better.” These were encouraging words to me. I must always try to do my best, knowing the Lord is there giving help when I ask Him.

  5. Another great choice. I missed this one on conference weekend and I am glad that I had a chance to read/listen today. I loved listening to his voice – what a great accent!

    I like what Kim said about not running faster than we have strength. That is what we all need to remember.

    My favorite quote from this talk is this: “The command to become perfect, as He is, encourages us to achieve the best of ourselves, to discover and develop the talents and attributes with which we are blessed by a loving Eternal Father, who invites us to realize our potential as children of God. He know us; He knows our capacities and our limitations.”

    Beautiful. I hope I can remember that He sees what I can become.

  6. I agree with what has been said…..I love that we are given the allowance of “it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength,” but also the accountability of “it is expedient that he should be diligent.” Accountability was the one word that kept running through my mind over and over as I read this talk.

    I also enjoyed this, “Should not this promise be the greatest incentive to do the best within our reach and GIVE THE BEST OF OURSELVES in pursuit of what has been promised to us?” I wonder if I am very good at giving the best of myself to my husband and children specifically. Sometimes I think I slip up because I know they will be forgiving. Along with seeing ourselves the way the Lord sees us, I think that seeking to see others that way will go a long way towards improvement.

  7. I’m fascinated with this concept of serving God with our”our whole being.” Something about it makes me feel like there is probably this amazing, untapped power within myself that makes me capable of doing so much more if I would just let go and let God be in charge of my life. Completely. “The Lord does not expect what we cannot achieve,” but he knows us well enough to see what we CAN achieve so much better than we see in ourselves. This requires faith on our part, and of course, diligence. “Let us do the best we can and each day be a little better.” Love it. I can stretch my best.

  8. Just wanted to drop in and say I read most of the talk. Sorry, nothing profound this week. It hasn’t been the greatest week… Maybe if I had actually *studied* the *entire* talk, my week would have been better… Hmm…

  9. I read it! And last week’s too. 🙂 I’m slowly catching up, and enjoying every bit of it. Thanks for all the comments above – they helped me get some insights out of this talk. I (like most of you) liked the scripture in Mosiah, which goes on to say, “therefore, all things must be done in order.” It is comforting to me to “have permission” NOT to try to do it all at once.

  10. I loved this talk! Here two of my favorite quotes from it:

    “The fulfillment of the divine promise to have eternal life, to achieve perfection, and to be happy forevermore in the family unit is subject to the sincere demonstration of our faith in Jesus Christ, obedience to the commandments, PERSERVERANCE, and DILIGENCE throughout our lives.”

    and…

    “God will not require more than the best we can give because that would not be just, but NEITHER CAN HE ACCEPT LESS THAN THAT BECAUSE THAT WOULD NOT BE JUST EITHER. Therefore, let us always give the best we can…”

    I liked these quotes because they go hand in hand with some things I’ve been thinking about lately. I realized that for a long time my pursuit of perfection had gone down the drain. I did not understand what the Lord was asking of me when He asked me to be perfect. I knew it meant I had to do my best, but somewhere along the road I had lowered the bar. I didn’t expect as much from myself, and what’s worse- I felt okay with that. Scary! I think my thinking was “Well, Christ was the only perfect man. I can’t really be perfect, so I’m not going to try.” That’s what Satan wants us to think, and boy, did he reel me in with that one!

    This is also why I liked the first quote because attaining perfection can be super overwhelming, as we all know, and anything overwhelming can make us want to give up. But we can’t! My new favorite words that I highlight in talks and in the scriptures are: perserverance, diligence, constant, and always. Elder Zeballos quoted President McKay when he said that “rich rewards come only to strenuous strugglers.” It’s true. If you want something, you have to work for it, and the things that are the hardest to attain are always the most worthwhile.

    By the way, I love be a part of this study group!

  11. Some things that stood out to me:
    – we are not alone
    – He is always available
    – He is desirous to forgive us
    – He does not expect us to do what we cannot achieve (phew!)
    – He encourages us to achieve the BEST OF OURSELVES
    – we are encouraged to DISCOVER and DEVELOP talents and attributes (I truly believe as mothers we need to ensure we do not feel guilty if we take time out for ourselves to do this…Heavenly Father encourages us to!)
    – He knows us! He knows our limitations but he also wants us to realise our potential!

    A-HA moment! After writing all that, I realised: isn’t that what we want for each of our children? Once again, we have been set a wonderful example of how to be a loving parent by our Heavenly Father. We are so lucky!

  12. I just started doing this and am doing catch up. Love this part of your blog!

    My thought is from the first of the talk where he says, “This allowed Him to declare with authority that He and His Father, our Father are the models to be followed by each one of us.”

    I always need to remind myself of who to follow. There are so many things (of the world, at times) willing to give advice on how to live my life – magazines, movies, tv, ads, radio. The only one I ever need to follow is my Savior. They will always be my model for righteous living. How to improve myself, my family, my spirituality, the quality of my life.

    Satan always loves to make me feel that eternal life is impossible for someone like me. But Heavenly Father and Jesus always have the way for me – I just need to listen better.

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